Man with Crohn's Disease Posts Facebook Photo Showing That Just Because He 'Looks Normal' Doesn't Mean He Isn't Disabled
Ste Walker is tired of people criticizing him for using disabled parking spots and bathrooms just because he “looks normal.”
The U.K.-based man suffers from Crohn’s disease – a chronic inflammatory bowel disease – and though he may appear to be perfectly healthy to outsiders, Walker struggles with the effects of his condition every day.
“People are too quick to judge these days,” he wrote in a Facebook post that now has over 42,000 likes. “Just because I look normal and speak normal, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a major disability. I look like any normal guy my age, but that’s because I want you to view me like that. Look a bit closer, or ask me questions, and you will soon realize that I have a major illness.”
Walker then lists off all the complications that come with his disease, including using a feeding tube, needing a tube to help drain his stomach, and having a bag to collect excrement attached to his abdomen.
“It’s not just these physical conditions I have to deal with and fight everyday,” he continues. “There is also a mental battle raging inside me all the time. [I have] not been able to eat a meal in two years, [and I’ve] only been at home for four weeks in the last 18 months.”
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Walker implores people to stop making snap judgments about him based on his outward appearance.
“The next time someone says to me, ‘Well you look perfectly fine, why are you using that disabled toilet? You’re conning the system, you’re not disabled,’ just stop and think,” he says. “Maybe I just want to be fine or to feel normal. You don’t know what I go through on a daily basis, and you have no right to judge me just on your perception of me that you can see, because you don’t know what goes on inside.”
“Stop and think before you speak,” he concludes. “Think about the struggle I’ve gone through just to get out of bed and get dressed and tried to look ‘normal.'”